Youngsters in England out-compete the Aussies

The stereotypical image of the English sportsman who is gracious in defeat and believes in "fair play" is not the case for today's children.As England's cricketers compete for the Ashes in Australia, a new poll reveals England's youngsters are far more competitive than their Australian counterparts.

The poll, commissioned by the Cricket Foundation, found more than four out of five English parents (83 per cent) said their child was competitive, compared with three quarters (75 per cent) of Australian parents.

Twice as many English parents as Australians said they believed winning was the most important thing to their child when playing sport (10 per cent compared with five per cent).

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The survey questioned more than 1,000 English and Australian parents of children aged six to 16.

The findings show that while more than a fifth (21 per cent) of Australian parents said their child was always gracious in defeat, just one in eight (12 per cent) of English parents said the same thing.

Almost three in 10 (29 per cent) Australian parents said their child was always gracious in victory when they took part in sport while 16.7 per cent of parents of English children said the same.

Wasim Khan, chief executive of the Cricket Foundation, said: "The survey challenges certain stereotypes, while highlighting the benefits of competitive sport.

"We hope that the England cricket team can continue to lift the nation this winter and inspire the next generation of Ashes winners."

The foundation runs the Chance to Shine campaign to educate children through cricket.